In regards to beauty, in ancient Egypt it’s a sign of “Great Holiness”. The Egyptians used beauty in every aspect of life, this includes in a  spiritual sense, cosmetics was a way to enhance this.


Traders would often trade for makeup, especially with the upper classes of society. There have been examples of tombs where there was Cosmetics plates found in the deceased’s tomb as a grave good. The idea that cosmetics were not only used for aesthetics but also for religious and magical purposes.

The religious and magical purposes of the Green eye was supposed to represent the sky and sun which was believed to evoke the eye of Horus.

Ancient Egyptian physicians are said to have been prescribed for kohl to fight and prevent the diseases of the eyes. Also kohl could be used as a shield against the sun. The tradition of the strengthening the eye was to apply Kohl to the child and protect the child against and prevent their child of being cursed by an “Evil Eye”.


Galena eye paint was later changed to Arabic as Kohl from the Akkadian word from cosmetics, this was rapidly applied to everyday life in Ancient Egypt. The upper eyelids were painted Black and lower ones, were coloured green, and a description in ancient texts claims the used Green and Black galen in Malachite.

The idea of showing how beautiful rulers were, was very interesting because it showed that they may have been beautiful though it also masked how she looked. The beauty was not just for the living but was also for the afterlife journey.